The municipality of Eindhoven has had a ‘Digital Twin’ made of the station area. Here we can see what this part of Eindhoven looks like District E, EDGE and Lichthoven has been built.
What is a digital twin?
A Digital Twin is in vogue among machine builders, where a simulation model of the right unit of iron and glass is made before the right iron is screwed together. The advantage of Digital Twins is that you have the opportunity to discover design flaws before you have incurred the huge costs. This allows you to fix the design at a relatively low cost.
The municipality of Eindhoven has also had a digital twin built for the station area, primarily to show how beautiful it will be.
Why this post?
This article tries to start the discussion on where things are rubbing and squeezing in the Station area by taking a good look at its Digital Twin. We hope that those responsible will take steps to resolve the issues identified.
One of the well-known methods of evaluating a design with a Digital Twin tool is to imagine how a target audience virtually walks through the area and sees what stands out.
Here is elaborated:
- Residents of District-E,
- employees LichthovenA
- Train passengers
Now start the tool:
So: start Digital Twin and take a walk through the virtual 3D 360 tour of the Station area.
Residents in District E:
(District-E: where the car park for short-term parking and bicycles between Station and Bijenkorf can now be found)
The residents of the 622 apartments in District-E have to search hard for the entrance to their tower. It’s nowhere to be found on the Digital Twin. It seems like there are only shops and restaurants on the ground floor. Still, there must be a door somewhere for the occupants and a bell sign with 622 buttons and mailboxes about thirty feet high x one hundred wide. There is a lot of unwanted buzz around the entrance that was not taken into account in the Digital Twin. It will be a come and go of vans and bicycles and moving vans, which will make the street scene quite ‘different’. DHL, PostNL, pizza delivery, AHXL, Coolblue, they all park as close to the front door as possible. They have to, because there is no plan anywhere else where they can park for a while to deliver their package or box. They also do not walk ten minutes, so they walk up the sidewalk and dump the van in the middle of the pedestrian zone. It is not only vans but also large moving vans that keep there. Because if the residents continue to live in their acquisition for an average of six years, then they already have a hundred relocations a year. That is, one hundred moving wagons are loaded and one hundred moving wagons are unloaded every year, so there is a large truck in front of the door almost every working day. Question: has this been taken into account in the design of the public space?
They also have all means of transportation. A small number are allowed to park their car in the small underground car park, the entrance to which connects to Vestdijk on the side of Bijenkorf. (You just can not see the less beautiful facade of the Digital Twin 🥴). The rest have to settle for a bike or a transport bike and probably a large number of cargo bikes, because it is very hip people who have to live in District-E. Question: where are all those things parked? Not in the public bicycle shed, for such an expensive pedalec simply evaporates in a public bicycle shed. And cargo bikes are not allowed in. And putting it on the sidewalk is not allowed by the Enforcers either. Question: did the builder of District-E take into account parking for a few hundred cargo bikes? And how do they get cargo bikes out of the basement onto the bike path? Not about the pedestrian street anyway! And are there enough charging points for five hundred electric bikes? And what does the fire department think?
Workers in Lichthoven 1-A:
(Lichthoven 1-A will be located where the post office used to be between Station and Studenterhotel)
There is a parking basement under Lichthoven 1-A. Even the Council of State does not yet know how big it should be. But those cars must be able to get in and out, so there must be a road somewhere to Stationsweg over a sex bridge. That road is not there, nor is the bridge. The technique is not yet advanced enough to transpose the cars in and out of the parking garage on his Startreks (“Beam me Up, Scotty”). Question: has this been taken into account in the design of the public space?
Question to Lichthoven 1A: Where is the exit for cars located in Lichthoven 1A?
At an NS Station such as Eindhoven-Central, many traffic flows gather. These are completely ignored in Digital Twin. The answers from the Municipality in ED do not reassure you either.
At Eindhoven Central Station, around 5,000 people board or get off a train per hour. The loafers have all arrived at the Station one way or another. The uninvolved people all want to go somewhere. Some of them take their bikes, for which at that time there will be parking facilities for 10,000 bikes. Some go by bus and some go to TU / e.
The rest goes through the front door of the station into the Digital Twin. The municipality has for years called for us to want Mobility as a Service (MaaS), but then it must also be facilitated. MaaS means you take a means of transportation where you are and leave it where you want to be. If you do not want all the damn electric scooters to be left left and right, provide adequate infrastructure, especially around a station, to make this possible. So you must be able to park and charge sharing cars, and you must be able to park bicycles and scooters and scooters. Taxis must be ready. And it can not go beyond the PSV stadium, but must be arranged within a radius of a hundred meters around the station. Otherwise it does not work. Question: has this been taken into account in the design of the public space? An answer that we solve it by increasing enforcement will not be accepted.
Eindhoven Central has a large catchment area. Especially travelers outside the city from the south and west should be able to reach the station. Sometimes they are picked up or delivered by car. For example, it is not convenient to have a student lug a whole month of laundry in a heavy bag and a thick laptop in the backpack to the bus. You will also sometimes take away people who are no longer very mobile. There is no place in Digital Twin where you can put someone off or wait for the delayed train.
Stationsweg is so full of cafe terraces, bike path, street and sex that you can not go anywhere. You can only drive past and not stop. How to do it? Question: has this been taken into account in the design of the public space?
Conclusions about the station area and its digital twin:
- We want too much in too little space around the station.
- Gender is not well integrated and has too little space.
- It is no longer possible to customize a design that later turns out differently. Stationsweg is designed for compact.
- Tough political choices need to be made about what we do does not to do. It just does not fit!
If the politicians can not or will not make choices, the Station area will be very expensive and terribly impractical.
- This Digital Twin is a great tool for seeing the pros and cons of building plans in relation to the environment.
- The Digital Twin is to be extended to the entire city center.
- The digital twin must show as accurately as possible how it will be. So did the less beautiful sides.
- The digital twin should be able to again adaptable: What it looks like in sun, rain, strong winds, in summer, in winter.